On Saturday, FootballScoop.com wrote that Michigan's Interim Athletic Director Jim Hackett has come to view Mississippi State's Dan Mullen as a more viable candidate for the head coaching position for the Wolverines following the Bulldogs 10-2 season that has led to a trip to the No. 1 ranking, the current No. 7 ranking, and a trip to the Orange Bowl against Georgia Tech.
Should Mississippi State fans be concerned?
While many Wolverine fans have long pined for Jim Harbaugh, partly because he is a "Michigan Man," and also, a proven strong head coach, Hackett has publicly stated he hopes fans will let the phrase leave their vocabulary for good. One solid way of doing so would be to hire a successful coach without Michigan ties, and Dan Mullen could be such a coach. Should a coach like Mullen come in and win, there may not be as much need in the future to have coaches with strong ties to Ann Arbor to placate the fan base. One would think this idea has to intrigue Hackett on some level.
Mullen, who saw his instate counterpart, Hugh Freeze, sign an extension and a pay increase recently, has yet to do the same at Mississippi State, and the longer the wait, the more interested school may pursue Mullen. This also means that fans will have to be a bit anxious waiting for something to happen.
In the end, everyone knows that this time of the year is all about rumors and speculation. For Bulldog fans, no matter the level of worry, the fact that others are interested in Mullen should validate the job he has done in Starkville.